Snacks for the bellies

Par Valérie Lessard
Snacks for the bellies
Geneviève Dubois, de la Rencontre Châteauguoise et Anick Sauvé d'Entraide Mercier. (Photo : Andrew Clark)

About 650 pupils raised in underprivileged areas in Chateauguay and Mercier will have the right to a snack in school thanks to the program entitled ‘’A snack for all bellies.’’

This snack program is an initiative that La Rencontre Chateauguoise started in four schools about 10 years ago. The demand in the schools has grown down through the years, but the group that fights poverty was not alone able to assume the task of purchasing fruits for a large number of students. That is why the Entraide Mercier group joined La Rencontre. This year, 12 primary schools from Mercier and Chateauguay are participating in the program.

‘’At the beginning of the year, the teacher will walk discreetly through the corridors. This is really done with respect. They note the children who could have need of this program,’’ explains Genevieve Dubois, the Rencontre Chateauguoise coordinator of finance and communications. ‘’In each class, there is a basket and the pupils are invited to come and take a fruit.’’

‘’This year, it will be mainly for bananas because we know that this is a fruit that is rich in calories and substance,’’ indicates Entraide Mercier director general Anick Sauve. ‘’We know that low-income families are going to sometimes buy less fruits because they are more expensive.’’

Several partners

The two groups obtained the help of financial partners to assume the costs of the program which are evaluated at $13,000. Grocery stores IGA Reid & Bourcier in Mercier and Metro Plus in Chateauguay will supply the fruits.

The Caisses Desjardins from Chateauguay and the Monteregie West have organized a garage sale. They have committed themselves to donate $7,000 to the program between now and 2021. The Monteregie West Caisse has also organized a garage sale. The sales will be doubled by the Caisse and donated to the program. The Parrains de Mercier are also supporting the initiative. The sales of popular second-hand clothes will also serve to finance the project.

(Translation Dan Rosenburg)

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